So. Families are complicated - we all know this. Mine was.....moreso, I think, than most. Why? Because my dad....was a chameleon. *My* dad was not the same as my *brother's* dad, and neither on was who friends/acquaintances were familiar with.
I was an only child until I was almost 8. I was NOT spoiled (I never did get the pony I begged for, until I bought it myself with my first paycheck), but I felt loved and important. Then....the brother I had been praying for since I was 3 (along with the pony!) arrived. All of a sudden, I was non-important. My Gran, who had been living with us, called him on it when my brother was 2 or 3....he had gotten into my room and torn something up. I was upset and yelled at him; she came in, apologized to me (he had gotten away from her), and spanked him. Dad found out, and tore her a new one, because *I* should have known to keep my door closed if I didn't want brother in my room. I was 10/11. Seriously? He kicked Gran out shortly thereafter. (He had a pattern of that, actually.)
I came to grips with the whole favored child thing in High School. Wasn't easy, but hey - it is what it is. Then I graduated...and he came to me and told me that I either paid some astronomical amount in rent (I think it was $800/month, but it's been a few decades!) or I had until noon the next day to move out. I was working retail, part-time.....and MAYBE brought home $600/month. Out of that I had to pay for my horse's board (because my first paycheck put a down-payment on my first horse. I wanted a car, but was told that he couldn't afford to pay for driver's ed for me, OR to help me with a car loan/insurance. So, what's a horse-crazy kid gonna do? I bought a horse and worked out a deal for cheap board/feed, that's what. What did Dad do? He ran out and bought a $1K (or maybe it was $2K - don't remember) Rainbow vacuum. Thanks!) and my personal expenses......there was simply no way I could pay that much for rent. So - I left home. He had told me that Mom was on board with it...I found out much later that no, he had told her I up and ran away for no reason. :bangs head:
Anyway. I moved back home 3 years later, with the understanding that Mom was point-of-contact. I honestly NEVER trusted him again. I finally got a driver's license, and Mom co-signed on my first Jeep. Dad? Paid cash for brother's driver's ed when he turned 16, and ran out and conned Mom into co-signing a loan for a brand-new truck for him. :sigh: (Wow. I sound bitter. I promise, I'm not - I've come to terms with it.) Few years later I met DH #1, got married, and moved out and away.
I found out about my half-siblings when I was.....12, I think. All I learned was that they existed. Brother met half-brother when he (brother) was in high-school; I wasn't invited, or even told about it until a few weeks ago. I knew dad had been in contact with half-brother (hereinafter referred to as "HB", and brother as "B", to keep it easy on my wrists. :grin:) because he would ever so often drop mention of them in conversations, usually comparing my kids to HB's (and ALWAYS to my kids' discredit. I did NOT let it get to me, because hey - it's dad. I KNEW how he was, especially with me.) I was careful to not allow my kids much access, because I wanted them to love their Grandpa, and I didn't want him to mess them up like he did me. (Especially since he made it plain that boys were #1. I was NOT going to put Herself thru that.)
I tried over the years to do the right thing. For YEARS I had Dad come out on Sundays so I could ensure that a) he'd get to spend time with the kids and b) he'd have at least 1 good meal a week. (Found out later that he was also going to B's house on Thursdays, for much the same reasons. Interesting......) A couple of years ago he decided gas prices were too high, and he ended that. I still tried; I called him every week or so to check on him. I made him gifts....which leads me to my introspection.
We were over there yesterday to pick up Sam. I was looking for the Will (I may have it - I have a bunch of legal-looking papers I need to go thru), so was rummaging thru drawers. I found *every* single gift I ever made him wadded up in various drawers...never used. :sigh:
Yes, it hurts....but I'm not really surprised. I know how he was. I wasn't the important child, so anything from me wasn't important or special. I took a few of them - the dishtowels - but left the liturgical stoles *that he asked me to make for him*. I just.....:sigh:
He and mom finally divorced when Herself was 1. Half the house is hers....I guess he decided that he just didn't care - because the house is trashed. Hoarders would have a field day - IF they could get inside safely. I'm kind of surprised - B wants to just wash his hands of everything, and I can't figure out *why*. I thought he'd be all torn up and sentimental.....instead, he's like me. I've tried very very hard to NOT sully B's image of dad - it's not my place. I know that his memories of our childhood is much different from mine, and that's OK. It is what it is.
SG has finally realized WHY I am so over-protective of my kids - I do NOT want them to go thru what I did growing up. He didn't know all the history....he's getting an idea, now, and he's starting to understand WHY I haven't been all torn up and devastated by this. I mean...I feel bad about saying this, but I was at the hospital because I KNEW what story he would spin if he survived and I *didn't* sit vigil. That's a horrible thing to admit...but it's the truth. I'm having a hard time dealing with Sam because of it - it's not the dog's fault, it's the baggage *I* have. He's a cute dog, sweet as can be, needs house-training badly.....and I'm having a difficult time just dealing with him. He's clingy, which is understandable....and I am irritated by it. :Sigh: I'll get over it - it looks like he's here to stay - but....it's going to take time. Good news is that he seems to have adopted Herself...and she's OK with it. :whew!:
If you managed to wade thru all that - Congratulations! Sorry I dumped it on ya...but I DID warn you! I'll try to post something more upbeat next time. Might be a few days - I have work-work to do, and I want to remake the overalls so that I can actually *wear* them. And USE them. Shouldn't be too hard - just need to add another inch or so to each piece of the pants (4 pieces x 1" = 4" of ease. Might do 1.5"....)
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